College athletes take step toward forming union

first_imgNorthwestern players celebrate their 63-60 win over Purdue at the end of an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)CHICAGO (AP) — Calling the NCAA a “dictatorship,” a handful of Northwestern football players announced Tuesday they are forming the first labor union for college athletes — one they hope will eventually represent players nationwide.Quarterback Kain Colter detailed the College Athletes Players Association at a news conference in Chicago, flanked by leaders of United Steelworkers union, who are ending their organizing expertise to the effort.  Colter said the NCAA dictates terms to its hundreds of member schools and thousands of college athletes, leaving players with little or no say about financial compensation questions or how to improve their own safety.“The current model represents a dictatorship,” he said.CAPA’s president, former UCLA football player Ramogi Huma, said it is an issue of fairness for a game that generates billions “off the players’ talent.” Not only don’t college athletes get paid, he said, but scholarships typically don’t cover many basic living expenses.For now, the push is to unionize only applies to private schools like Northwestern — though large public universities, which are subject to different sets of regulations, could follow, said Huma, who is also the head of the National College Players Association he founded in 2001 to lobby for the interests of college athletes.“This will be the first domino,” Huma said.The effort will be closely watched. The NCAA has been under increasing scrutiny over its amateurism rules and is currently in court, fighting a class-action federal lawsuit in California filed by former players seeking a cut of the billions of dollars earned from live broadcasts and memorabilia sales, along with video games, and multiple lawsuits filed by players who say the organization failed to adequately protect them from debilitating head injuries.NCAA President Mark Emmert and others have pushed for a $2,000-per-player stipend to help athletes defray some of their expenses, but critics say that isn’t nearly enough and insults players who help bring in millions of dollars to their schools and conferences.Last season, Colter and football players from Georgia and Georgia Tech had the letters APU — All Players United — written on their gear during games as a show of solidarity in an effort organized by the NCPA. At the time, the NCAA said it welcomed an “open and civil debate regarding all aspects of college athletics.”The NCAA issued a statement Tuesday making clear where it stands on the athletes’ quest to form a union.“Student-athletes are not employees,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said. “We are confident the National Labor Relations Board will find in our favor, as there is no right to organize student-athletes.”He added: “This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education.”The athletes’ first step is to apply for certification by the National Labor Relations Board, specifically on behalf of the Northwestern players. Later, the goal is to expand to include athletes at other schools and in other sports.The key issue the board must resolve is whether the football players are employees as defined by federal labor law, said United Steelworkers official Tim Waters. If they’re deemed employees, he said, they would have the legal right to organize.“It’s crystal clear that college football players are employees,” he said, arguing most put in a 40-hour work week and create revenue, albeit not for themselves. “Football players are not complaining. … They are simply identifying this for what it is — pay for play.”Huma said there is no reason to believe the effort will end up downgrading the quality of college sports.“Treating players better is only going to improve the product,” he said. “This is not going to change what is all good in college sports.”___Online:NCPA: Michael Tarm at read more

Coach Holder continues to swim upstream after 48 years

first_imgCOACH HOSEA HOLDERLegendary Coach Hosea Holder is the Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Stingrays, a competitive, year-round swim team that sends kids to regional and national competitions every year. He has been coaching swimming for 48 years.Holder moved from Birmingham, Ala. to Pittsburgh when he was 9 years old in 1945 and fell in love with swimming.“I seen all the kids swimming in the Ammon Recreation Center pool and after that swimming is all I wanted to do,” said Coach Holder.  “That’s where I learned to swim.”Holder, a 1955 graduate of Westinghouse High School, was drafted into the Army after graduation. He was stationed in Germany and the Germans loved swimming.  When he came back from Germany, he began lifeguarding and became a swim coach in 1965.Coach Holder realizes that nothing in life is handed to you.  It’s only through hard work, dedication and perseverance that you will achieve your goals.  His swimmers are hard work personified and living testimony to its intrinsic value.“We were denied AAU membership because of racism,” said Holder.  “I believe you have to stay and fight the fight.”Today, the Pittsburgh Stingrays are a  competitive youth swimming team that caters to kids between the ages of 6 to 18 years.The Stingrays compete under USA Swimming, which is the national governing body for the sport.  Regionally, the Stingrays contend as a part of Allegheny Mountain Swimming which administers competition in parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.COACHING—Coach Hosea Holder coaching three young swimmers. (Photos by J.L. Martello)Holder is the oldest African-American coach registered with USA Swimming and is the 2nd oldest coach associated with AMS Swimming.“Quit” is a word that simply is not in Coach Holder’s vocabulary.  His swimmers show their greatness not when they win, but how they deal with adversity and loss.  It has taken Holder years of blood, sweat and tears to get the Stingrays to their elite level.“Swimming is a sport where you can develop your body as well as your mind without putting damage as some of your contact sports,” said Holder.  “It is a skill that they can maintain for the rest of their lives.”Coach Holder has been coaching swimming champions for 48 years, and he’s well aware of the challenges the program faces every year.  He often has to work with a limited roster.“The significant part of the Stingrays is that we do not reject any individual that comes and wants to try out,” said Holder.  “We specialize in helping to develop children who are non-swimmers up to competitive swimmers.”The Pittsburgh Stingrays will continue to shine a light on many stellar swimmers from the club, but nobody expects a large increase in swimmers anytime soon.“In this part of the US, it’s football and basketball that African-Americans want to do,” said Holder.  “Swimming don’t get the exposure like football or basketball.  The children cannot see the value in swimming in terms of a way to earn money.”After African-American swimmer Cullen Jones won a gold medal in the Olympics, we could see a new generation of swimming talent on display in the Black communities.“I’m hoping to see an African-American from this area standing on the starting block at the Olympics,” said Coach Holder.  “If that happens then you’ll begin to see a lot of parents encouraging their kids to get involved with swimming.”Coach Holder is a stroke enhancement specialist whose strong philosophy of dedication, commitment and hard work has created champion swimmers for more than 40 years. So don’t be surprised if a gold medalist springboards from this area.  Then, we will truly be the city of champions. Follow @NewPghCourier on Twitter us at our mobile app at read more

At The Finish Line…Where Only the Truth Matters

first_imgBILL NEAL•    Since forever 10,000 plus Africans are dying every week from the Ebola virus and nobody’s looking for a cure . . . well, no not really . . . but one guy dies in the United States and . . . well, let’s just say this . . . I bet they find a cure now!  I’m just sayin!•    If Pitt continues not only their total game plan, but the energy they showed against Virginia Tech last week, I see no reason they can’t dominate Georgia Tech the same way.  “Disrespect the Tech!”•    Of course Peyton Manning’s record breaking touchdown passes of 509 and counting is amazing, but even more than that is how he seemingly rose from the dead, left Indy, defied the odds and continues to play at a simply scary level.  Best ever?  Statistically no doubt about it, but for me, I go to war with Terry Bradshaw.  It’s all about the rings baby!  What say you?•    Speaking of Rose . . . huh?  Try to keep up . . . speaking of Rose, Derek Rose, he of the Chicago Bulls, is back.  Let’s just hope he can stay healthy.  If so, the Bulls win the East and play the Spurs for the title.•    If the defense is right and tight it doesn’t matter if the quarterback is Andrew Luck, bad  luck or lucky strike.  Steelers win Sunday 24-14.•    You know how I keep telling you the good stuff to do?  Well, book this in and trust me, this is gonna be huge.  Saturday, December 13th, at the new and fabulous Blue Line Grille Downtown on 5th Avenue, behind CONSOL Arena, the first Achieving Greatness Awards, featuring The Willie Stargell Pittsburgh MVP Awards, Celebrating Women Awards, Connie Hawkins League Hall of Fame Inductions and first ever in history Pittsburgh City League Hall of Fame Inductions.  Awards, food, drinks, dancing and more.  Stay tuned.< You Have Just Crossed the Finish Line >last_img read more

Joint Animal Services: Animals Ready For Adoption

first_imgFacebook3Tweet0Pin0Hello, I am a female, lad/pit mix, I am about 5 years old and my # is 83777. I am a little timid when I meet new people. Once I get to know you then my loving and fun side comes out. I enjoy walks and know sit. I am not too interested in playing catch but I do enjoy digging. I am worth getting to know and once you show me love I will be yours! My forever home will need a secure fence to keep me safe and no other female dogs in the house. If there are other dogs in the house I will need to meet them first to be sure we get along and can share your love and affection. Please come down and meet me or call 352-2510 for more information about me. Thank you. Hello, I came into Joint Animal Services with my 5 kittens in April. J.A.S has helped my babies find their forever homes and now I am hoping to find a forever home too.  I am a very affectionate cat. I love to get petted, brushed, and held. I am a vocal cat and enjoy talking to you when I feel like you should be focused on me. I can also be laid back and truly enjoy relaxing in the window watching the outside world. I am friendly when I meet new people and am mostly an outgoing cat. I would love to find a forever family to be a part of. Please come down and meet me or call 352-2510 for more information about me. My # is 82273. Thank you. Thurston County Animal Shelter3120 Martin Way EastOlympia, WA 98506360.352.2510last_img read more

Boss of the Year Nominations Sought

first_imgFacebook27Tweet0Pin0Submitted by The Thurston County ChamberThe Thurston County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its fourth annual Boss of the Year award.  Co-sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, this award recognizes outstanding individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership in the workplace through innovation, communication, vision, and performance.“With the challenging economy impacting organizations everywhere, leaders are making the difference between whether an organization barely survives or actually thrives”, said Reid Bates, Chair of the Thurston County Chamber and owner of Express Employment Professionals.  “This award is a great way for bosses to be recognized by their teams and the Chamber and for their examples to be shared across the community”, says Bates.Once again, Saint Martin’s University business students will play an important role in the selection process by interviewing finalists and gathering data for the selection committee.  “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to meet with exceptional business leaders in the community and to also learn more about what truly defines leadership in the workplace,” says Richard Beer, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business.Nominations for the “Boss of the Year” award will be accepted through October 25th.  You may mail, fax or send via email to the Chamber office.  The award recipients will be announced on December 11 at the Norman Worthington Center at Saint Martin’s University.For a Nomination Form please visit read more

Westport Winery’s Jetty Cat Earns Best of Class at Savor NW

first_imgFacebook0Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Westport WineryA popular wine, Jetty Cat Red, is one of 36 varietals made by Westport Winery.Westport Winery’s most popular red blend, Jetty Cat, earned a double gold medal and Best of Class at the Savor Northwest Wine Competition this week in Canon Beach, Oregon. Jetty Cat is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Discovery Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA, Sangiovese from Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima AVA, Petite Sirah from Jones Vineyard in the Wahluke AVA, and Tempranillo from Airfield Estates in the Yakima AVA. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this wine benefits the Harbor Association of Volunteers for Animals (HAVA). The label on this wine was painted by Aberdeen, Washington, artist, Dr. Brian McGregor.The winery earned silver medals on Swimmer’s Petite Sirah from Jones Vineyard, Elk River Riesling from Red Willow Vineyard, and Surfer’s Syrah from Discovery Vineyard. These wines respectively benefit Grays Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center, the Grays Harbor Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and the South Beach EMS in Westport. The partnerships and collaborative relationships Westport Winery has built with their grape growers and local charities are integral to their remarkable growth and success in their six year history. Westport Winery was the first winery on the Washington Coast and remains the westernmost vineyard in the state.Westport Winery and Vineyards By-the-Sea with its unique sculpture garden, lavender labyrinth, musical fence, 9-hole executive golf course, giant chess set, outdoor scrabble game, and grape maze, is located on the corner of Highway 105 and South Arbor Road halfway between Aberdeen and Westport. Their award-winning wines are exclusively available at this location. The tasting room, gift shop, produce market and bakery are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant is open for lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for dinner on Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more information contact Westport Winery at 360-648-2224 or visit the website at read more

Recent Tragic Events: An Interview with Harlequin Director Scot Whitney

first_imgFacebook28Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Harlequin ProductionsRecent Tragic Events runs October 1 – 24 at Harlequin Productions.The latest show to hit the stage at Harlequin Productions is Recent Tragic Events, a comedy by Craig Wright, the Emmy-winning writer of such TV shows as Six Feet Under and Lost. I sat down with Scot Whitney, the show’s director and Harlequin’s Managing Artistic Director, to discuss what goes into directing a play that features a sock puppet and is set on a blind date…on the day after 9/11.Yes, a sock puppet is a character in this play and it works.So, this is a comedy taking place the day after 9/11?Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but Recent Tragic Events does manage to examine the event and how it affected everyone in the world, but especially in this country, from within the trappings of a comedy. The event itself is treated with profound respect, but people didn’t stop behaving in ridiculous ways as a result. They have never stopped being ridiculous, and I don’t expect that they ever will. It’s in our nature, don’t you think?What about this story makes it worth telling 14 years later?I first found this play in 2005. I loved it the first time I read it but thought it was probably too late to produce it. It had premiered in 2002 and ran in New York in 2003. I was afraid it might have lost its relevance by 2005. But I’ve re-read the play every year since while trying to put together the new season, and last January it dawned on me that we, as Americans, are still suffering the traumatic effects of those events 14 years later. This play provides an empowering perspective that serves as a kind of healing balm. I think that audiences are going to love it. In fact, we held a free, open-to-the-public first read through of the play several weeks ago. We had strong attendance, and I think it’s safe to say that everyone was a bit blown away by what they experienced. How could a comedy about a blind date the day after 9/11 ever get us to the place we land? Answer: A brilliant idea, fantastic writing and a great cast.With just 5 actors in this show, what’s it like to have such a small cast?Smaller casts generally have many advantages. It’s easier to find four or five great actors who are all available at the same time than to find 18 or 25. Scripts with small casts also tend to be less complex, so you’re able to focus more on details, which I enjoy. It becomes a more intimate process.This particular show turned out to be a wonderfully breezy experience but not just because of the small cast. Stick one bad attitude into even a two-person show, and the whole thing becomes miserable for everyone. This cast turned out to be as close as I can imagine to perfect. Everyone understands the play, their character, and their position in the story. They all love the play and have brought a huge amount of excitement and commitment to the project. And they’re all sweethearts! Rehearsing was like playing games in a friend’s living room.Recent Tragic Events is set on a blind date the day after 9/11.There is a saying that 90% of the director’s job is casting, and believe me it’s true. In this case, however, it was more like 99%.What’s it like to direct a sock puppet?Not much different from directing an actor, if it’s cast right. We chose blue, which I think was a good choice. The hair was a bit difficult to control at first, but so are big egos, so they kind of cancel each other out.What is most exciting for you about this directing project?I love the play and get to direct it.I have an impossibly perfect cast, so rehearsals have been a breezy pleasure.I love watching the play over and over again.Recent Tragic Events runs October 1-24 at Harlequin Productions. Tickets and more info available at 360-786-0151 or at read more

Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County Awarded New Grant By…

first_imgFacebook47Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston CountyBoys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County received two $5,000 Focus Grants to improve the health and wellbeing of Thurston County area youth, thanks to Amerigroup Foundation. The $10,000 donations to the Clubs provide kids and teens with critical programming during after-school time that creates a positive environment and supports a healthy, active lifestyle. These grants are some of dozens distributed across the country by Amerigroup Foundation to support Triple Play programming, which focuses on being healthy through the mind, body and soul.Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County received two $5,000 Focus Grants to improve the health and wellbeing of Thurston County area youth, thanks to Amerigroup Foundation.Amerigroup Foundation will be issuing a $5,000 Focus Grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County Tumwater Unit and another $5,000 Focus Grant to Lacey Branch to provide programming focused on teaching the importance of healthy eating habits and being physically active to Club members.“Kids and teens today face a variety of challenges when it comes to eating healthy and staying physically fit. That’s why we support Triple Play, to help ensure that our youth build life-long healthy habits with a firm foundation of support,” said Daryl Edmonds, president of Amerigroup Washington. “The Triple Play program and Boys & Girls Clubs in Thurston County are working to build great futures for our kids by changing the opportunity equation to help them make healthy choices and participate in healthy activities each and every day.”As Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s proven health and wellness program, Triple Play is a game plan for the mind, body and soul. Supported by founding sponsor The Coca-Cola Company and co-sponsor, Amerigroup Foundation, the program’s three components encourage Club members to eat healthier (mind), become more physically active (body) and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships (soul). Since the program’s inception in more than a decade ago, Triple Play has made over 10 million connections with kids and teens.“We are incredibly grateful for the support and partnership of Amerigroup Foundation, because without their support we would not be able to impact so many kids and teens each year,” said Katya Miltimore, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County.  “With this grant, we hope to continue to provide new and much needed healthy lifestyles programming to kids who need it most, and create a positive foundation for them to grow and thrive.”Amerigroup Foundation is committed to improving health and strengthening Washington communities. Through its Healthy Generations grant program, Amerigroup Foundation works to identify the issues most in need of attention and then directs its financial support and volunteer efforts toward improving health in those areas.  Promoting youth health and active lifestyles is an ongoing focus of the foundation.The Triple Play grants announced today are part of a five-year, $10 million commitment from Amerigroup Foundation’s parent company foundation to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to promote healthy lifestyles.About Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston CountyBoys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County is a youth development agency serving school-age youth 5-18 years old. Founded in 2001, four Club locations now serve over 2,700 local youth with the mission of inspiring and enabling young people, especially those in greatest need, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible citizens, by providing community-based Clubs that are safe and positive places for kids. BGCTC offers programming in five key areas: Character & Leadership Development; Education & Career Development; Health & Life Skills; The Arts; and Sports, Fitness and Recreation. For more information about BGCTC, please visit www.bgctc.orglast_img read more

Providence and Fairfax Behavioral Health Take Steps for New Psychiatric Hospital…

first_imgFacebook682Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Providence St. Peter HospitalProvidence St. Peter Hospital and Fairfax Behavioral Health are in consideration of developing an 85-bed freestanding psychiatric hospital in Thurston County. We submitted a joint letter of intent with the Department of Health on Friday, April 22, opening the door for the parties to file a certificate of need application toward the end of May.As you know, behavioral health services are regularly identified as a significant need in our region. However, the capacity to care for patients in our area has not kept pace with demand, and the overall need is projected to increase for the foreseeable future.More than 67,000 adults in Thurston County have a mental health condition.82 percent of the homeless population surveyed in Olympia report having a persistent mental health condition. The average length of time these individuals have lived in Thurston County is 15 years.The ratio of population to mental health providers in Thurston County is 520:1, compared to 380:1 in Washington.More than 10 percent of the patients who come to the Providence St. Peter Hospital Emergency Department need behavioral health services (approximately 22 each day).Providence identified the opportunity to greatly improve and expand access to behavioral health services in Southwest Washington by partnering with an established international entity, Universal Health Services, Inc., which regionally includes Fairfax Behavioral Health. Providence has already established partnerships with Fairfax in Everett and in Spokane.“This free-standing hospital will allow us to expand the existing services that Providence already provides and fill a gap in the community,” says Medrice Coluccio, chief executive for Providence in Southwest Washington.Fairfax’s history spans more than 80 years and reflects a similar commitment as Providence to the poor and vulnerable. This partnership aligns with our core strategy of “creating healthier communities, together,” which calls for identifying like-minded partners to meet the needs of the community.Providence St. Peter Hospital Crisis Services Department (located in the St. Peter Hospital Emergency Center) is the only one of its kind in the five-county service area of Thurston, Lewis, Mason, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. It is regularly at capacity, and unable to accept additional patients from Thurston County and beyond.“The addition of a freestanding psychiatric hospital will be particularly crucial in assisting the surrounding rural communities that do not have the necessary staff or facilities to treat and care for this patient population,” added Coluccio.By partnering with Fairfax, Providence can expand access to behavioral health care. The new hospital will be well connected with the providers and services available at Providence clinics and hospitals in Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor and Mason counties, creating a seamless care experience for patients.“This is a wonderful opportunity for our two organizations to bring the full scope of our expertise and resources to address an identified need in southwest Washington,” says Ron Escarda, Fairfax Behavioral Health chief executive officer. “Fairfax is excited about having the opportunity to utilize its knowledge and expertise in the provision of behavioral health services to the Thurston County community, and working in partnership with Providence St. Peter Hospital to serve these patients and their families.”Once the CON application is submitted, a definitive ruling from the DOH could take several months. The entire process to obtain CON approval and build a freestanding psychiatric hospital may require a few years.last_img read more

Adopt-A-Pet Dog of the Week: Goose

first_imgFacebook27Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Adopt-A-PetMeet Goose! He is a super cute and friendly Boxer-Pit Bull mix with a stunning brindle and creamy white coat. He has a pink shaped heart on the top of his nose! Goose is sweet, loving, smart, and happy. Because he is young, strong, and enthusiastic, children in his home should be 13 years of age or older, dog savvy, kind, and sturdy. If you can provide a cat-free home, grain-free diet, love, exercise, and a fenced yard, then you may be his perfect fit family! Goose would love to meet you to discuss the future! Goose is a great companion and family dog who aims to please.If you have further questions, emails are the only method of communication at this time.   We all care about the health of our 2-legged caregivers and the community at large, so as a precaution we are temporarily suspending our public open hours. We are still taking email inquiries and applications, and will be in touch with you as soon as we are able. We appreciate everyone’s understanding during this difficult time! Stay Well!Adopt-A-Pet has many great dogs and always need volunteers. To see all our current dogs, visit the Adopt-A-Pet website, our Facebook page or at the shelter on Jensen Road in Shelton. For more information, email or call 360-432-3091.Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.last_img read more